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How is the World Created from Nothing?

June 20, 2015

eternal observer

How is the world created from nothing? The answer has recently been discovered, and is explained in the book by Amanda Gefter, a book that has been praised by many well-known theoretical physicists. The answer is based on the recent discoveries of dark energy, the holographic principle, non-commutative geometry and what Gefter calls the one-world-per-observer paradigm. Physicists who do not embrace this worldview are reminiscent of classical physicists of a century ago who could not understand the world in terms of quantum theory and relativity theory.

The Observer, the Screen and the Thing

The answer is outlined in a few paragraphs. Whenever dark energy is expended, which in the sense of relativity theory is understood as the exponential expansion of space arising with a cosmological constant, an observer-dependent cosmic horizon arises surrounding the observer at the central point of view of that particular reference frame.

expanding universe

The force of dark energy is like a repulsive force of anti-gravity that gives rise to the exponential expansion of space. Space appears to expand away from the central point of view of the observer at an accelerated rate. The farther out in space the observer looks, the faster space appears to expand away from the observer. At the cosmic horizon, space appears to expand away from the observer at the speed of light, and so things at the cosmic horizon appear to move away from the observer at the speed of light. Since nothing can travel faster that the speed of light, the cosmic horizon is as far out in space as the observer can see things in space.

exponential expansion of space

Whenever dark energy is expended, a cosmic horizon surrounds the observer at the central point of view. The cosmic horizon limits the observer’s observations of things in space due to the limitation of the speed of light and the exponential expansion of space, which is unlimited. The limitation of the speed of light is like the maximal rate of information transfer in a computer network. There is no good explanation for the expansion of space except that it’s a part of relativity theory.

How can space appear to expand? The answer is the curvature of space-time geometry. Relativity theory mathematically describes geometrical curvature in terms of the space-time metric, which is a measure of the curvature of space-time geometry.

Space appears to contract with the attractive force of gravity, while space appears to expand with the repulsive force of dark energy. This apparent contraction or expansion of space over the course of time occurs relative to the point of view of an observer, and is the nature of the curvature of space-time geometry in relativity theory. This is like the distortion of images that appear on a computer screen in a computer animation. As we’re about to see, this is a very good analogy since the bounding surface of a cosmic horizon acts as a holographic screen that projects images to the point of view of an observer.

The Observer, the Screen and the Thing

The holographic principle tells us all the bits of information that define all the observable things this observer can observe in the space bounded by this cosmic horizon are encoded on the horizon, which acts as a holographic screen. The screen encodes n bits of information in a pixelated way, with one bit of information per pixel. These n bits of information are typically defined by the n eigenvalues of an nxn matrix, where n=A/4ℓ2, A is the screen area, and ℓ2=ћG/c3 is the Planck area. This result is a natural consequence of defining n position coordinates on the screen with n non-commuting variables.

Information01

If position coordinates on the screen are parameterized in terms of an (x, y) coordinate system, like latitude and longitude on the surface of a sphere, then these n non-commuting variables define n position coordinates on the screen, which no longer are points but are pixels. If these n non-commuting variables obey an uncertainty relation of the form ΔxΔy≥ℓ2, the pixel size is ℓ2 and the n bits of information are defined by the n eigenvalues of an nxn matrix.

globe

In the sense of a Hilbert space defined by these n non-commuting variables, every observer has its own world defined on its own observer-dependent cosmic horizon that acts as a holographic screen. In the sense of a consensual reality shared by many observers, many observer-dependent worlds can share information to the degree their respective horizons overlap in the sense of a Venn diagram. This is like the kind of information sharing that occurs in an interactive computer network. In much the same way, the expenditure of dark energy is like the flow of energy through a computer network that energizes the network of screens.

Overlapping bounded spaces

It is still possible to understand the unification of the laws of physics in such a radically observer-dependent holographic world. The only fundamental things in that world are the way bits of information are encoded on the bounding surface of the observer’s horizon and the way energy flows through that world, so where do the laws of physics come from? The answer is the laws of physics can only arise as a thermodynamic average in the sense of the second law of thermodynamics.

normal-flow-of-energy

The second law tells us energy and entropy always flow together, while the holographic principle tells us entropy is defined on a bounding surface of space. As energy flows through the bounding surface, some entropy must flow with the energy, and this implies Einstein’s field equations for the space-time metric as a thermodynamic equation of state. Einstein’s field equations in the bounded space are dual to the holographic description of non-commuting variables defined on the bounding surface, but only in the sense of a thermodynamic average.

horizon information

It is instructive to briefly review how this holographic mechanism comes into effect. The second law of thermodynamics relates the flow of energy, ΔE, through the bounding surface to the flow of entropy, ΔS, and absolute temperature, T, as ΔE=TΔS. Entropy is defined on a holographic screen in terms of the number of bits of information encoded on the screen, n=A/4ℓ2, which gives entropy in terms of screen area as S=kA/4ℓ2. If the screen is a spherical surface of radius R, the holographic principle also specifies the temperature of the screen, as observed by a distant observer, as kT=ћc/2πR.

As energy flows through the screen, say under the influence of a thermal gradient, some entropy must flow with the energy. Since entropy is defined in terms of screen area, the screen area must change as energy flows. This implies that the geometry of the bounded space must change as energy flows through the bounding surface. This simple thermodynamic relationship, ΔE=TΔS, implies Einstein’s field equations for the space-time metric in the bounded space as a thermodynamic equation of state.

For a spherical cosmic horizon, the screen area is A=4πR2, where the horizon radius, R, is determined in relativity theory in terms of a cosmological constant, Λ, as R2/ℓ2=3/Λ, which gives S=3πk/Λ. The idea of inflationary cosmology then gives a natural explanation for the normal flow of thermal energy through the observer’s world in terms of an instability in the cosmological constant, which is understood as a phase transition from a meta-stable false vacuum state to an eventual stable true vacuum state.

quantum tunneling

Inflationary cosmology tells us that at the time of the big bang event that creates the observer’s world, the cosmological constant has a value of about Λ=1, which gives the horizon temperature as about 1032 degrees Kelvin. Astronomical observations, based on the rate at which distant galaxies accelerate away from us, indicate a current value of about Λ=10−123. As the cosmological constant decreases in value, the radius of the horizon inflates in size and the horizon cools in temperature. The normal flow of thermal energy through the observer’s world is understood in terms of this thermal gradient that develops due to an instability in the value of the cosmological constant.

This instability in the value of the cosmological constant is understood as a transition from a meta-stable false vacuum state to a more stable vacuum state. The most stable vacuum state, the true vacuum state, which has eternal stability, is defined by Λ=0. As the cosmological constant decreases in value to its eventual final value of zero, the cosmic horizon inflates in size to infinity and its temperature cools to absolute zero.

The flow of energy through the observer’s world arises with dark energy and gives rise to the bounding surface of a cosmic horizon surrounding the observer at the central point of view, while the encoding of bits of information on the horizon arises in a non-commutative geometry, which then implies Einstein’s field equations in the bounded space.

If the Kaluza-Klein mechanism and super-symmetry are invoked, all the usual quantum fields of the standard model are then generated from Einstein’s field equations. The final result is called 11-dimensional super-gravity.

Compactified space

This also explains the nature of elementary particles, like the electron and photon. The correct way to understand elementary particles is as localized (in space and time) and quantized (in terms of energy and momentum) excitations of field energy. In quantum theory this is usually visualized as a field wave-packet. The standard interpretation of quantum theory tells us this wave-packet only specifies the quantum probability with which the particle can be measured at some point in space and at some moment in time.

wave-packet

Unification of the laws of physics (the Kaluza-Klein mechanism) tells us all quantum fields are components of the space-time metric in extra compactified dimensions. All field equations, like Maxwell’s equations and the Dirac equation, arise from Einstein’s field equations for the space-time metric through this mechanism.

The holographic principle tells us Einstein’s field equations in the bounded space arise from the statistical laws of thermodynamics as a thermodynamic equation of state due to encoding of bits of information on the bounding surface of that space. We can therefore say all elementary particles in space are really a form of gravity in extra dimensions that arise from the way bits of information are encoded on the bounding surface of that space.

gravity

Gravity is the curvature of space-time geometry. Elementary particles are therefore only space-time curvature in extra compactified dimensions of space. That curvature arises holographically from bits of information encoded on the bounding surface, which acts as a holographic screen.

Observer's Horizon

This tells us the measurement of the particle at some position in space at some moment in time is like the projection of an image of the particle from a holographic screen to the central point of view of an observer. All bits of information for the particle are encoded on the bounding surface of space, not in space itself.

Black hole projection

This projection of images from a holographic screen to an observer is very much like the way a movie is animated on a digital computer screen over a sequence of screen outputs in a computer animation. In much the same way, the expenditure of dark energy that gives rise to the construction of the holographic screen is like the flow of energy through an interactive network of computer screens that gives rise to the computer animation. Each screen in the network is observed by its own observer at the central point of view.

The way the holographic principle is formulated in terms of non-commutative geometry and non-commuting variables defined on the bounding surface of a cosmic horizon insures the total energy of the observer’s world is exactly zero. In this sense, everything in that world arises from nothing. The positive energy of dark energy and any other forms of positive energy that arise from dark energy, like mass energy, are exactly cancelled out by the negative potential energy of gravitational attraction.

ying-yang

By its nature, the expenditure of dark energy and the creation of an observer-dependent cosmic horizon implies there must be an empty space of potentiality within which this bounding surface arises. There must be an all encompassing empty space with the potential to express energy as the exponential expansion of space. This empty space of potentiality can be called the void or the primordial nothingness. In this sense, everything is created from nothing. An observer’s world is only created if this empty space of potentiality expresses dark energy.

Atman Brahman

This empty space of potentiality cannot be characterized in terms of the laws of physics, a dimensionality, or the curvature of space-time geometry. Only the observer’s world can be characterized in this way, but that characterization only arises from the way bits of information are encoded on the bounding surface of the observer’s world and the way energy flows through the observer’s world.

This explanation not only solves the mystery of how everything is created from nothing, it also solves the mystery of how the observer’s world is created. It also solves an even greater mystery: how does the observer’s consciousness arise?

The answer is the usual answer of non-dual wisdom. The primordial nothingness or void is the nature of undifferentiated consciousness. When this empty space of potentiality expresses dark energy with the exponential expansion of space and an observer-dependent cosmic horizon arises that acts as a holographic screen that defines the observer’s world, the observer’s individual consciousness is differentiated from undifferentiated consciousness. The consciousness present at the central point of view of the observer’s world is differentiated from the undifferentiated consciousness of the void when the bounding surface of a cosmic horizon arises in empty space.

Mystery solved.

The observer’s focal point of consciousness is present at the central point of view of a surrounding holographic screen, which only arises when dark energy is expended. The expenditure of dark energy is the nature of the process that differentiates this focal point of consciousness from undifferentiated consciousness. We understand the expenditure of dark energy as the exponential expansion of space, which expands at an accelerated rate relative to the central point of view of the observer. In the sense of the curvature of space-time geometry, this accelerated expansion of space is the “bending of space”.

The undifferentiated consciousness of the void expresses its power with the expenditure of dark energy. As dark energy is expended, the observer’s focal point of consciousness is differentiated from undifferentiated consciousness and a cosmic horizon arises that acts as a holographic screen surrounding the observer at the central point of view. This “bending of space” is the only way the observer’s world can be created and the observer’s individual consciousness can come into being. When the expenditure of dark energy ultimately comes to an end, as it must since all things ultimately come to an end, the observer’s world must disappear and the observer’s differentiated focal point of consciousness must return to the void of undifferentiated consciousness.

Ultimately all the observer really is, is this empty space of potentiality. Ultimately all the observer really does is bend space as it expresses its energy.

Do not try to bend the spoon. That is impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth.
What truth?
There is no spoon. Then you’ll see it’s not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.
The Matrix

there is no spoon

References:

Amanda Gefter (2014) Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn: A Father, a Daughter, the Meaning of Nothing, and the Beginning of Everything (Random House)
Raphael Bousso (2002) The Holographic Principle. arXiv:hep-th/0203101
Ted Jacobson (1995) Thermodynamics of Space-time. arXiv:gr-qc/9504004
J Madore (1999) Non-commutative Geometry for Pedestrians. arXiv:gr-qc/9906059
Leonard Susskind (1994) The World as a Hologram. arXiv:hep-th/9409089
Nisargadatta Maharaj (1996) The Experience of Nothingness (Blue Dove Press)
Nisargadatta Maharaj (1973) I Am That (Acorn Press)
Jed McKenna (2013) The Theory of Everything (Wise-fool Press)

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5 Comments
  1. Wow, when you say “When this empty space of potentiality expresses dark energy with the exponential expansion of space and an observer-dependent cosmic horizon arises that acts as a holographic screen… ” and conclude “Mystery solved”, I can’t avoid think is a contradiction: the mystery is not solved, because the explanation is even more mysterious than the question! Congratulations for your post, sure was a hard work, but too technical for help me to understand the origin of Universe.

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    • The answer only seems mysterious because you’re thinking like a person. Brahman (the void of undifferentiated consciousness, the empty space of potentiality) expresses its power with the expansion of space and the creation of a world (as displayed on a cosmic horizon that acts as a holographic screen), a world that is observed by an observer (the Atmanic consciousness present at the central point of view of the screen, which is differentiated from Brahmanic consciousness), because it can, and because it feels good to express itself in this creative way. This is the answer you’ll find in the Vedas, in the Bible (Genesis), and the answer given by enlightened beings (Nisargadatta, Osho, Jed McKenna). Science does not really solve the mystery, but only gives a scientific explanation. As long as you think of yourself as a person rather than the underlying reality, the mystery will continue to appear as a mystery no matter how powerful the explanation. On the other hand, once you know yourself to be the mystery (which Nisargadatta calls timeless being or impersonal being), there is no mystery. Paradox but no contradiction.

      In the words of Osho:

      The inner emptiness itself is the mystery.
      When the inner space is there, you are not.
      When you dissolve, the inner emptiness is there.
      When you are not, the mystery will be revealed.
      You will not be a witness to the mystery, you will be the mystery.

      The “There is no spoon” quote from the Matrix says the same thing.

      Jed McKenna says the same thing:

      The you that you think of as you is not you.
      The you that thinks of you as you is not you.
      It’s just the character the underlying truth of you is dreaming into brief existence.
      Enlightenment isn’t in the character, it’s in the underlying truth.

      Jed McKenna explicitly refers to the “underlying truth” (experienced during enlightenment) as a “void of undifferentiated consciousness”. Osho refers to the void as “pure space”, which he identifies as “non-dreaming consciousness”:

      We call Buddha the awakened one.
      This awakening is really the cessation of inner dreaming.
      When there is no dreaming you become pure space.
      This non-dreaming consciousness is what is known as enlightenment.

      Jed McKenna states the void of undifferentiated consciousness, which he calls Brahmanic consciousness, is the “ground” of the differentiated consciousness of the observer, which he calls Atmanic consciousness. Nisargadatta refers to the void as pure awareness or pure being, which he describes as undivided and primordial, and that the void is the source of the individual being and consciousness of the witness, which arises at the central point of view as the world appears, which he describes as a “reflection against a surface”, like the reflected images of a movie projected from a screen to the observer’s point of view:

      Awareness is beyond all.
      Awareness is primordial; it is the original state.
      Awareness is undivided-aware of itself.

      In pure being consciousness arises.
      In consciousness the world appears and disappears.
      Consciousness is on contact, a reflection against a surface, a state of duality.
      The center is a point of void and the witness a point of pure awareness; they know themselves to be as nothing.
      But the void is full to the brim. It is the eternal potential as consciousness is the eternal actual.

      Osho describes the undivided, endless Being of the void is experienced in a state of “falling into the void”:

      You fall into an abyss, and the abyss is bottomless: you go on falling.
      That is why Buddha has called this nothingness emptiness.
      There is no end to it. Once you know it, you also have become endless.
      At this point Being is revealed: then you know who you are, what is your real being, what is your authentic existence.
      That Being is void.

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      • Thanks Letranger for explain it less technically, now I think I get you: there are an unmanifested reality that is the foundation for the manifested one, and this fact applies to all, from a stone in the ground up to the whole Universe, and of course also to human being. In a person, the unmanifested side is named soul in Christian tradition, Atman in Hindu tradition, etc. In fact, there are only one reality: the manifested and unmanifested are not really separated, between them there are only a grade difference, but our ordinary mind can’t see beyond the material level. But we are able to travel through the reality, with a trained conscience through meditation, from the material, manifested aspect, up to higher levels: is a continuum. The highest unmanifested level corresponds to the Creator, God, Brahma, etc. I was almost convinced this facts are beyond science, for science studies the manifest creation, so science is not able to go beyond. But reading again your post, I see now there are, maybe, a chance for relate science with the unmanifested reality. Indeed, is not so surprising, because Physics has been studying non material “objects”, like light, radiation, gravity, etc, for the last century, working far away from our near, daily reality. I wrote a short post, “Physic reality and Mysticism”, about this topic time ago in my own blog. Hope in the next years we become more awakened through both, meditation and also science!

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      • Nicely stated. I’d only add every aspect of the manifested is differentiated from the unmanifested. The individual consciousness of an observer is differentiated from the undifferentiated consciousness of the void, just as all bits of information encoded on the observer’s holographic screen, which defines everything in the observer’s world, and all the energy flowing through the observer’s world, which animates those things, arises from the unmanifested empty space of potentiality as the unmanifested expresses itself with the expansion of its own space, which we understand scientifically as the expression of dark energy.

        In other words:

        “There is no spoon…it’s not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.”

        Nisargadatta expresses this state of Atmanic consciousness in a similar way:

        Delve deeply into the sense ‘I Am’ and you will discover that the perceiving center is universal.
        All that happens in the universe happens to you, the silent witness.
        Whatever is done is done by you, the universal and inexhaustible energy.
        There can be no universe without the witness, no witness without the universe.

        Nisargadatta describes the differentiated Atmanic consciousness of the witness must ultimately return to the undifferentiated consciousness of the void when the manifestation process (the expression of dark energy that arises with the expansion of space) ultimately comes to an end:

        For the path of return naughting oneself is necessary.
        My stand I take where nothing is.
        To the mind it is all darkness and silence.
        It is deep and dark, mystery beyond mystery.
        It is, while all else merely happens.

        First we must know ourselves as witnesses only, dimensionless and timeless centers of observation, and then realize that immense ocean of pure awareness, which is both mind and matter and beyond both.

        The ‘I Am’ in movement creates the world.
        The ‘I Am’ at peace becomes the Absolute.

        Nisargadatta also describes the ascension of consciousness that follows truth-realization:

        Awareness comes as if from a higher dimension.
        The witness that stands aloof-is the watchtower of the real-the point at which awareness, inherent in the unmanifested, contacts the manifested.

        Nisargadatta describes the unreality of the animation of images of things as perceived on a screen from an ascended point of view:

        Once you realize that there is nothing in this world which you can call your own you look at it from the outside as you look at a play on the stage or a picture on the screen.
        To know the picture as the play of light on the screen gives freedom from the idea that the picture is real.
        In reality I only look.
        Whatever is done is done on the stage.
        Joy and sorrow, life and death, they are real to the man in bondage.
        To me they are all in the show, as unreal as the show itself.

        Nisargadatta also describes the detachment process that allows the observer to break the hypnotic spell and shift its focus of attention onto its own sense of being:

        Discrimination will lead to detachment.
        You gain nothing.
        You leave behind what is not your own and find what you have never lost: your own being.

        I see only consciousness, and know everything to be but consciousness, as you know the pictures on the cinema screen to be but light.
        It is enough to shift attention from the screen onto oneself to break the spell.

        Like

  2. Bartek permalink

    look – http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Articles/kabbalah/Creation/creation.html

    are they not talking about the same just in another words? for example “God needed to “make a space” or to “provide room” for that which was not God.

    Like

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